Creating a thought-provoking, dynamic, powerful piece of work is a complex multifaceted process. And one we absolutely love. Elevating a piece of filmed work from a simple recording of an event, into a beautifully crafted cinematic piece of work is something we take great pride in. It involves many nuanced processes of which you could fill endless pages discussing. However, we have done our best to break the process down into four key areas: Camera, Lenses, Lighting and Colour Treatment. Within this series are the steps and considerations we take on every project to make sure we deliver amazing results.
The first step to creating a cinematic look is to use the right camera. Sounds obvious right? Well kind of. However, there are literally thousands of cameras on the market ranging in price from a few thousand pounds to over a hundred thousand pounds. Picking the right camera for the right shoot is vital to creating the correct look and feel for your project.
Camera choice is largely dictated by budget. Aside from the outright cost of the camera, there are other considerations to take into account. A camera like a Sony FS7 can be set up and operated by one person. Whereas, an Arri Alexa mini could need up to three people to set up and use. There’s also the consideration of time. Your shoot might not have the time to spend setting up and operating an Arri, so something like a Sony FS7 might be the better fit.
Typically speaking, if you are shooting to a pre-agreed storyboard with a large crew in an environment you have total control over, such as a closed set or cordoned off location, then you can afford to focus on achieving the best possible look from your camera. You can make sure time is built into the schedule to allow the use of an Arri or a Red and that all the considerations those cameras require are taken care of.
If your shoot is a little more unpredictable or you don’t have total control, such as filming in a live environment or public space then a camera that is quicker to use and more agile will probably get you better results. Something like a Sony FS7 or Canon C300 is much better suited to these situations. One person can quickly and discreetly move around and shoot largely unhindered.
At Posh Gecko we use a wide variety of cameras depending on the job, from the popular Sony range of FSX cameras, through to the crème de la crème of Arri cinema cameras. Each camera on the market has a defined look, and using them in the right way is key to creating that beautiful cinematic experience. We'll always assess the unique needs of each individual project to determine the best camera for the job.